MLB commissioner Rob Manfred open to changing draft
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he would like to see changes in the draft in the upcoming years, including holding the event during a different week, changing venues and allowing international players to be selected.
MLB held its first-year player amateur draft on Monday, with Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson being selected No. 1 by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
While the NFL, NBA, NHL hold their drafts at large arenas and can accommodate fans who want to watch the draft in person, the MLB draft is held at MLB Network studios in Secaucus, N.J.
"We have certain logistical limitations, the most important of which is, a lot of the college players are still playing and it's difficult to have them here. This event like every event is about the players," Manfred said, according to the Associated Press.
Manfred, who took over for Bud Selig in January, said he would like to discuss the draft's timing with the NCAA. The MLB draft is currently held the same week as the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
"I don't think you're talking about huge shifts in terms of the calendar. Obviously, we have needs in terms of getting players signed and get them out there and playing, and obviously the College World Series is a very, very important event," Manfred said, according to the AP. "But you know, I think with some minor adjustments we might be able to make a calendar that would be better for both of us.”
When asked about international players possibly being allowed to enter the draft, Manfred said he would also like to see changes.
Currently only residents of the United States, Canada or any other U.S. territory are eligible for the draft. Other international players can be signed by any team.
"I've long been a believer that it makes sense for everybody to enter the game through the same mechanism," he said, according to the AP. "I think there's a fundamental fairness to have everybody enter the game through the same system."
- Scooby Axson